I’m back!!! I definitely left this blog on the back burner the past couple months.. but I am ready to get back into it. It’s been a busy 2012 so far, filled with tons of traveling and adventures. Plus one very major new addition. I plan to detail a few things that have happened since ringing in the new year, but for now I’ll give a brief update on the past three months:
Plenty of indulgences were consumed:
Cheese tortellini in a garlic cream basil pesto sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and prosciutto + a classic monte cristo sandwich: Ham, turkey, havarti cheese deep fried in batter and finished with powdered sugar and raspberry perserves (probably the best thing I have eaten in my entire life)
Cheddar ranch pull apart bread.. made this for the boys to enjoy during the super bowl
Brownie sundae enjoyed in San Fran
In addition to all that naughty food, some good for me food was eaten as well:
Overnight oats: oats, greek yogurt, almond milk, stevia, protein powder with fruit mixed in in the morning. This or an egg white/english muffin sandwich was my breakfast most days when I was in the office
Snack pack: red pepper slices, baby carrots, hard boiled egg + roasted red pepper hummus
I quickly realized it is SO much easier to eat healthy when I’m NOT traveling for 2 weeks at a time.
I’ve been on three trips so far this year: Reno, NV, Columbia, SC, and Kansas City, MO. I also went to San Francisco, CA for the weekend during my two week trip to Reno! That was definitely the highlight. Columbia was great because it’s where the University of South Carolina is, which is where my sister lives! I had a blast pretending I was in college again, with her. I am also very lucky because William was able to join me on EACH of these trips. He flew to Reno/spent time in San Fran with me, drove to Columbia, and spent a weekend in Kansas City. I am a lucky girl to have him! Here are a few pics from my travels:
First time in San Fran!
Spending 2 weeks with my sister was something I’ll never forget
Botanical gardens in South Carolina
There is no better feeling in the world to me than to be flying home into Washington, DC!
I am actually still in Kansas City for another day. Not too many pics from this trip, as Kansas (actually staying in Kansas City, Kansas) is not exactly the most exciting place. I am so ready to be home to my boys! … Which leads me to my next point…. did you notice I said boyS?
That’s because William and I have a new addition to our little family!! At the beginning of February, this little guy entered our life
and things got a lot more crazy in our house!
Meet Bentley! Our almost 5 month old (now) puppy. We rescued him from a shelter in Pennsylvania. He is a shepherd/lab/retriever/chow/we have no idea mix and in my opinion the cutest thing I have ever seen. It was absolutely love at first sight.
He has already put our family through quite a few adventures and he cracks me up every day
He loves his Captain America T-Shirt!
He definitely drives us crazy, but in the best possible way.
My baby has grown quite a bit since we got him!
We call him our little teenager puppy!
okay okay enough pup pics… See ya soon with another post!
Over the Christmas break, William’s aunt, uncle and cousins were here visiting from England! W’s mom is British, and he was actually born there and is a dual citizen. (*Sidenote: we are hoping to visit them in London this summer during the Olympics!*) We had a blast spending time with them, and an added bonus was that his aunt is an excellent cook. I got to try some new foods over Christmas that I learned I love! Here’s a quick rundown of the new foods on my approved list:
Parsnips: slightly sweet! My new favorite root perhaps! These will be making an appearance into my diet in the future
Yorkshire pudding: a delicious bread, I didn’t even touch the french bread after tasting one of these
Pastitsio: this is actually a greek dish that W’s family makes all the time. It involves pasta, a ground beef mixture, and a bechamel sauce on top and is baked
Christmas pudding….with brandy butter: This was so. freaking. delicious. Essentially it is a dried pudding mixture with raisins and dried fruit in it. I could have eaten the brandy butter by itself with a spoon. Remind me why it can’t be christmas everyday? (For the brandy butter alone.)
We had a great time with the fam! *Don’t mind the sombreros… These came out after a full day of mimosas followed by several rounds of drinking games
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas break! Mine was spent enjoying time with my amazing family, boyfriend, and friends. The weekend was full of pressies, yummy food and love! Here are some pics:
Homemade White/Dark chocolate peppermint bark!
and I only burnt/ruined the first batch;-)
played with jessie the christmas pup! love her!! [Will's family dog]
Went to ICE at the National Harbor –> AMAZING!
[ Yes, that is all sculptured out of ICE! ]
Drank an abundance of bubbly champagne
And overall, had a fabulous holiday! Looking forward to ringing in 2012 <3
After browsing pinterest one afternoon I decided I was finally ready to cook a real meal last week. I wanted it to be quick and easy and was craving some noodles….
Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake to the rescue! I simply made a sauce by first sauteing shallots and garlic in some olive oil. I then added a can of diced tomatoes along with a can of crushed tomatoes. I let that heat up and then added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream. I let all that simmer while I cooked the noodles (rigatoni) in some boiling salted water. I then drained the pasta and added the sauce to the noodles, also throwing in 4 chopped up chicken sausage links (roasted garlic flavor) and about 1 1/2 cups of shredded italian blend cheese. I mixed all of this together and threw it into a greased casserole dish. I sprinkled more shredded cheese on top and dotted ricotta cheese along the top as well. (Well, only on my side…SOMEONE was a being a picky princess.)
Baked it in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, and enjoyed a delicious pasta bake (as well as 2 days worth of leftovers!)
Check out the massive pile of laundry I did this week… It’s honestly embarassing. The top of the pile almost reached the light switch.
While I have been working hard over the past 4 months to become a domestic goddess, I clearly have a long way to go. The cooking part is getting easier, now only if the cleaning part would come more naturally. There’s always next year. Only one more work day after today and Christmas break is finally upon us. I absolutely can’t wait!
I have been down for the count with a terrible bug since Sunday. I’ve spent the last two days laying my bum on the couch watching multiple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on netflix. Yes, I have already seen them all….probably over 20 times each… but seasons 1/2/3/4 never get old. *It should be noted that the show sucks now.
Yesterday I managed to work up some energy to clean the casa and throw dinner in the crockpot. It was super easy and came out quite delish.
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
I simply threw 3 chicken breasts in the crock pot. I mixed a bottle of sweet baby rays bbq sauce (hickory and brown sugar flavor) + 1/4 cup of apple cidar vinegar + 1/4 cup brown sugar + red pepper flakes + garlic powder and pour that over the chicken. Cooked it all on low for 6 hours and had delicious pulled chicken sammys for dinner.
Served with red pepper strips + a baked sweet potato the size of my face (with buttah + brown sugar) deeeelish.
Hopefully Will & I kick this sickness soon…Only a few days left to enjoy all the christmasy stuff we have planned!
Our first Christmas tree together – Real, of course.
Christmas decorations – DIY centerpiece
Decadent desserts – Uno’s deep dish cookie sundae
nom nom nom
Homemade desserts – Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cookies *a la pbfingers.com
Fabulous shopping – Express Faux Fur Vest
Spending time with the people who mean the most – Taking our christmas card picture with my sisters…. Yes I am 23 years old. Yes my sisters and I wear matching outfits. Yes we smile in four year old poses. Yes my mom tells us how adorable we look the whole time.
Throw in a caps game with my lovah for good measure
It happens to the best of us… You meet that special someone…They sweep you off your feet…You start going on dates, eating out constantly…you skip working out to cuddle and gaze into their eyes.. and then you realize that the lurve (aka Love.) weight has started to tip the scale.
Can you still call it lurve weight if you’ve been together for well over a year?? Maybe you’re not supposed to, BUT I AM. It’s no secret that Will and I love food and eating. Since the beginning of our relationship this was a constant thing. The not so constant thing = never performing any physical exercise + loving food + hitting the cheese fries/ranch a little too hard. We used to go to the gym together several times a week post work. When you combine these things, the lurve weight begins to pack. The truth is, I just don’t feel very good. I enjoy running and working out, and I am absolutely ready to incorporate it back into my life. Will and I have had this discussion for a few weeks now. We have been wanting to change up our routine and start regularly working out, while still enjoying the foods we love. Today was a positive step in the right direction! We finally woke our booties up bright and early, and went for a run PRE work. I think this will be the key for William and I, working out BEFORE work. It felt amazing to run (by amazing I mean during the run I thought I was going to die.) So hopefully we will continue with our morning run plan tomorrow. Post run, we had egg-ritos with 1 egg + 1 egg white, cheese, and salsa all wrapped up in a wheat tortilla.
Last night for din we had some faux-fried foods. Both recipes were delicious individually, though I will not pair them together next time. We had baked chicken tenders with crispy zucchini, served with homemade (THAT’S RIGHT PEOPLE, HOMEMADE) ranch!
For the tenders, I soaked the chicken in buttermilk for about 2 hours. I then put together a mix of panko bread crumbs, regular bread crumbs, wheat flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and italian cheese. I dipped the tenders in the mix and shook them up to get them nice and coated. I then placed them on a make shift wire baking pan (cooking sheet + 2 cooling racks) and sprayed them with cooking spray before baking them in a 450 degree oven for 24 minutes (flipped halfway through.)
For the crispy zucchini (which was definitely the star of the show I might add..) I first sliced up two zucchinis into 4 inch pieces.
I then shook them up in plastic baggy of wheat flour. Next they took a dip in an egg bath, followed by a jump into the coating mix… this one contained panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
I baked these bad boys for 20 minutes. They were delicious! soft on the inside and crispy on the out. We will definitely be making these again soon.
The ranch was something I randomly decided to make when I realized I had almost all of the ingredients. It is healthier than bottled ranch and all I had to pick up from the store was chives and parsley! I set out all my ingredients and grabbed the blender.
low fat mayo, low fat sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chives, parsley, salt and pepper thrown into the blender
then add the buttermilk, a little at a time, until its the consistency you’re looking for (in my case, wanted a dip more than a dressing)
It turned out great! Especially with chicken tender and zucchini dippers.
That’s all for now! I’m running an errand with my baby sister and then meeting one of my besties for dinner tonight so no elaborate cooking planned. I begged William for froyo all night yesterday, and he finally agreed so I have half of it waiting for me when I get home tonight. Talk about a good day!